Apple is set to square off against the FBI on 21st March after the tech giant refused to obey a court order to unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernadino massacre last year.

In the run up to the confrontation, many technology heavy weights and entrepreneurs have weighed in with their opinions over Apple’s refusal to comply with authorities; some have backed Apple’s play, while others have sided with the law.

Now Canonical founder and Ubuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth has added his voice to the debate, stating the central issues isn’t just a simple battle between Apple and the FBI.

“The important thing to understand is that it is not an Apple-FBI saga, it is a ‘you’-saga. At the end of the day, this is your device and Apple, I think entirely appropriately, is saying that it is their responsibility to provide you with a device that isn’t fundamentally compromised,” Shuttleworth told

“To the best of their ability, they have to provide a device which protects your information,” he said.

Shuttleworth’s Canonical is heavily embedded in the technology space, and created the Ubuntu operating system. The OS is mainly used in Linux systems, but Shuttleworth dabbled with the OS working on mobile phones – so he does know a thing or two about security.

“There is no way to do a half-assed job of that. Right? There is no way to provide a backdoor that only works under certain circumstances,” he said. “There is no policy framework that would explain why the backdoor should work for this group and not for that group.”

Shuttleworth’s position on the matter is perfectly clear, and coming from someone with mobile OS experience, he agrees with the fact that Apple can’t simply give the FBI access to a smartphone – which he says has nothing to do with terrorism.

“Apple’s position is entirely correct. As far as I’m concerned, that is indisputable. I think it is very important that end-users not be lulled into a view that this is anything to do with terrorism whatsoever,” he said. “It absolutely has to do with an attempt to essentially say that your information is not your information.”

[Image – CC by 2.0/paixetprosperite]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.